Claiming that the new citizenship law has led to the alienation of Muslims, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Tuesday said that the community should have been included in the amended law. The Jathedar, meanwhile, welcomed the inclusion of the Sikh community in the Act.
“There were many Sikhs and Hindus, who were living as refugees in India and the CAA has provided them relief. It is a good development and a welcome step. The CAA will be of big relief for the Sikhs who were facing religious persecution. There are Afghan Sikhs who have been attacked and forced to leave their birth place. They will benefit from this Act,” the Jathedar said while talking to The Indian Express. But he maintained that Muslims should not be kept outside of the purview of the Act.
“According to principles of Sikhism, we Sikhs cannot differentiate against anyone on the basis of religion and caste. In the same way, the Constitution also does not differentiate on the basis of religion and caste. So, there was no need to keep the Muslims out,” the Jathedar added.
Asked whether Muslims needed to be included in the Act when they were in majority in several Islamic countries, the Jathedar said, “It is true that Muslims are in majority in those countries, but it is also a fact that Muslims are a minority in India. Excluding them from the CAA has led alienation of Muslims.”
“Religious persecution in any country, whether it is Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh, should be condemned. Respective countries should take measures that all minorities living there can follow their religion,” he added.
Many Sikh bodies have come in support of activists protesting against the CAA.